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Braves keep rolling with win over Pirates

Menahga's Leah Schwartz tried to dribble around Verndale's Katie Johnson during Friday night's Park Region Conference game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

A 22-4 run late in the first half and a 25-5 run to end the game powered the undefeated Menahga girls basketball team to a 70-33 Park Region Conference victory over Verndale Friday night at Menahga.

A pair of jumpers and a 3-pointer Cierra Ahlf and a layup by Alyssa Peterson were offset by two inside baskets by Verndale's Melissa Hammer and a pair of baskets by Morgan Glenz as the game was tied at 10-10 with 11:15 to play in the first half.

Menahga took the lead for good with a 22-4 run. Tara Hendrickson, Martha Peterson and Megan Hendrickson had layups and Alyssa Peterson hit a 3-pointer during a 9-0 run that gave the Braves a 19-10 lead at the 7:05 mark.

After Hammer scored inside, a three-point play by Leah Schwartz, a basket off a rebound by Ahlf, and a layup and a 3-pointer by Alyssa Peterson made it 29-12 with 1:36 remaining before the break. Katie Johnson hit a jumper for the Pirates as Menahga carried a 32-14 advantage into the intermission.

Verndale opened the second half with a jumper by Johnson, a layup off a steal by Haley Youngbauer and two free throws by Glenz to cut the gap to 32-20 with 16:53 to play.

The Braves regained control as Ahlf scored off a rebound and hit a 3-pointer, Megan Hendrickson converted a three-point play, and Alyssa Peterson hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to push the lead to 45-23 with 13:33 remaining.

A layup by Ahlf and a 3-pointer by Tara Hendrickson made it 50-30 at the 9:06 mark before a 17-0 run extended the lead to 67-31 with 3:09 remaining. Ahlf followed a 3-pointer with a layup, Tara Hendrickson had back-to-back layups, Megan Hendrickson scored twice off rebounds, and Schwartz scored inside. Maryn Pinoniemi's three-point play with 56 seconds remaining capped off the scoring.

Ahlf's 24 points and 10 rebounds, Alyssa Peterson's 16 points and four assists, and Megan Hendrickson's 11 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and three assists led the Braves, who improved to 11-0 in the conference and 18-0 overall.

Hammer hit double figures with 13 points for the Pirates, who fell to 5-6 in conference games and 7-13 overall.

Sebeka (8-3), Henning (6-5), Wadena-Deer Creek (6-5) and New York Mills (5-5) follow Menahga while Pillager (2-8) and Bertha-Hewitt (0-11) follow Verndale in the conference standings.

VERNDALE: Glenz 2 2-2 6, Ehrmantraut 0 0-0 0, Youngbauer 1 0-0 2, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Olsson 3 1-2 7, Brownlow 0 1-2 1, Hammer 6 1-5 13. Totals: 14 (FG), 5 for 11 (FT).

MENAHGA: A. Peterson 5 3-4 16, M. Hendrickson 4 3-3 11, T. Hendrickson 4 0-0 9, Ahlf 9 3-4 24, Schwartz 2 1-1 5, L. Peterson 0 0-0 0, K. Hendrickson 0 0-0 0, Pinoniemi 1 1-1 3, Berttunen 0 0-0 0, M. Peterson 1 0-0 2, Tormanen 0 0-0 0, Am. Lake 0 0-0 0, An. Lake 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 for 65 (FG), 11 for 13 (FT).

Halftime: Menahga 32, Verndale 14 .Three-pointers: A. Peterson 3, T. Hendrickson 1, Ahlf 3. Team fouls: Verndale 17, Menahga 13. Rebounds: Menahga 44 (M. Hendrickson 16, Ahlf 10, T. Hendrickson 6, Schwartz 4, A. Peterson 3, An. Lake 2, M. Peterson 1, L. Peterson 1, Pinoniemi 1). Assists: Menahga 11 (A. Peterson 4, M. Hendrickson 3, Schwartz 2, M. Peterson 1, Ahlf 1). Steals: Menahga 14 (M. Hendrickson 4, Schwartz 3, M. Peterson 2, Ahlf 2, A. Peterson 1, Tormanen 1, T. Hendrickson 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 5 (A. Peterson 2, Schwartz 1, Ahlf 1, T. Hendrickson 1). Turnovers: Menahga 19.

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